There are a zillion companies offering car salespeople leads for prospecting, from Facebook advertising services to databases that include business executives with emails and phone numbers to consumer lists with phone numbers and buying behavior. Most often, these don’t work at all or are just too cumbersome or expensive to prospect for finding customers cost-effectively.
Many suggest Facebook ads are effective. Facebook or Meta promotions suggest that you can come and meet your customers where they come to connect. Campaigns run by Facebook marketing department suggest that business ads can connect you with your customers on Facebook and Instagram every day, and hence making a connection with your customer is ever so easy.
Truth is that this is far from reality. Most Facebook and Instagram ads just don’t work cost-effectively. They use to a few years ago, but they no longer do. However, branding does work if you have a branding strategy for your marketing. But prospecting, does not. It is often a waste of advertising budget these days.
Are the trends shifting?
People go to social media to be social and connect with people on a more personal level and share views and feel connected to people that are similar-minded and agree on a wide range of issues. That is why branding works but prospecting often fails miserably in social media.
Facebook suggests that over 10 million businesses have used Facebook advertising, the majority of which are small to medium-sized businesses.
Yes, this is correct. But that does not mean, that Facebook is telling you the whole truth.
Since 2021, Facebook has lost small business advertisers because its platform is regarded as deliberately lacking privacy. Or as U.S. Congress hearings with Mark Zuckerberg was illustrating, the company deliberately sells personal information without their permission. Many people are not using Facebook for purchasing and hence advertisers (especially small business with less than 100 employees), have stopped advertising or reduced their spending quite dramatically. It is just not working the way it use to back in 2014 to 2018.
Then there are the lead generation services.
Their promotion usually start with: “WHAT MAKES OUR LEAD GENERATION PROGRAM DIFFERENT?”.
These often claim that they find real-time shoppers who are actively looking to buy cars in your local market. Yes, that is their claim.
They also claim that they use predictive analytics models to find local customers who are interested in upgrading or trading in their current vehicle and deliver those leads to you or your sales staff in real-time. They do not provide their so-called “predictive analytics models”, as it is “proprietary”.
They claim that there are hundreds of customers every day shopping for cars in YOUR specific local market, but your dealership only captures a small portion of these buyers, because you do not know how to do “predictive analytics modeling”. They suggest they can help you see other customers you are currently missing out on.
These companies spend huge amounts of money promoting their car sales lead generation tools, software, programs, methods, analytics, and of course, modelling.
You see their ad saying: “Every sale starts with a good lead. As a sales manager or a salesperson, you’re probably tired of dealing with low-quality third-party garbage leads that are unresponsive and have no intent to do business”. Sounds convincing? May be. Certainly, when leads are not in abundance, one would fall for these if panicking.
However, after interviewing two dozen car sales people with years of experience, I am more convinced of their opinion regarding lead generation services. Auto dealers know their business and know their market much better than so-called lead generating service providers, otherwise they wouldn’t be around, many of them have, for decades.
These dealerships have proven the test of time and know how to do lead generation on their own, much better than almost all these so-called services. They know how to do incentives, how to attract people to their showroom and how to sell.
So, as a auto sales professional, what can YOU do to generate leads on your own?
Start with the right attitude, and then use perseverance:
- Decide to market yourself as an individual car salesperson
- Focus your efforts on personalization; that is what consumers want
- Use the Internet for prospecting, most other business people are doing just that
- Create a personal strategy for increasing car sales
- Figure out what you are comfortable doing when it comes to digital marketing and prospecting
- Use personal social media to connect with people
- Publish short reports on latest consumer report findings (regarding models or technology)
- Publish social media posts with latest incentives and savings
- Post information on your social media regarding trends and market changes
- Post discussions on insights and electric vehicles
What dealerships and car salespeople need help with, is how to use the new digital tools and incorporate a strategy into their business. Once they get the contact information, they can do their job better than any other.
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Other articles you may be interested in, include: 1) F&I Process Management Trends; 2) 9-11 GI Bill Veterans benefits for education cost and finance manager training courses; 3) Auto sales lead generation techniques and trends; 4) The best and top 10 car sales professionals in the world; 5) Auto finance and insurance products and opportunities; 6) Electric Vehicle (EV) $7,500 federal tax credit; 7) Digital Edition of The Encyclopedia of Finance & Insurance Management; 8) Auto F&I finance manager training course financing options; 9) How to be a great auto sales professional; and 10) Auto Finance Manager Training Testimonials